Sunday, 31 July 2011

Zine Resources

image by Shannon Gerard
As you may have noticed, we’ve added a new set of links in our blog sidebar – Zine Resources.  Sadly, we feel that many of these resources are underused, so this blog post is just to draw your attention to them.  This is mostly where we get our info from for the biweekly news posts – also via flyers, word of mouth, emails, and tweets that get pinged our way – so they can be very useful!  Hope you enjoy spending the evening exploring these sites (if you haven’t done so already)!  If you have any more useful zine resources that we've missed, let us know in the comments or email us so we can add to this entry.

A Wikimedia-powered site dedicated to zines and independent publishing.  It’s a cracking resource, featuring lists of distros, zine events, zine libraries, and much more, from all over the world.  There’s a zinester directory, which can be categorised by country, type of zine (e.g. perzine), or theme (e.g. feminism).  There are also pages dedicated to zine history, production, and distribution.  Sign up for free to become a contributor, where you can create pages about anything zine-related; though what the wiki really needs is pages on individual zine series or zinesters.  As you can see by the UK Zinester category page, Zine Wiki is desperately in need of updating.  The creators write that they would like Zine Wiki to act as a central catalogue for people interested in zines, where most zines would be instantly searchable from anywhere around the world, with the same quality standards as Wikipedia.  Sign up today and help make this aim a reality. 
(if you want your zine to be listed, but don’t fancy creating an account for whatever reason, you can always email me with the info you want and I’ll create a page for you!)

A handy blog that reposts submission calls for zines.  It consists of mostly US-centred submission calls, but if that doesn’t bother you too much then it’s a great place to find lots of zines to write for!  I’ve been using it for about 4 months, and have been published in 5 comp-zines since, which isn’t too shabby.  Go take a look today and see if any submission calls take your fancy!

A nice blog to pop in your Google Reader if you can’t be bothered to subscribe to many zine blogs.  The blog features zine reviews, news, announcements, and calls for submissions that are syndicated from various blogs (including this blog!).  It’s more of an RSS feed or forum rather than a blog, as the only original content featured are reviews by the editors, Jack and DanIt also features lots of useful links in its many sidebars, including lists of zine review sites, zine libraries, zine fairs, distros, and general zine resources.  I find it a little tricky to navigate – there’s a bit too much going on, with too many sidebars and adverts – but other than that, it’s good for a browse.  They also have a Twitter account syndicated there, which I recommend following (though most of the news they tweet is from the US and Canada).

Okay, so I’m pretty sure you all know about We Make Zines, but I want to talk about it anyway.  WMZ was a huge phenomenon when I first got into zines in 2008, but seems to have fizzled out a little recently.  Most people think that the rise of Facebook and Twitter has rendered WMZ a little redundant, which I think is a fair point.  Having said that, We Make Zines is still a valuable tool for zinesters to keep in touch with each other, not only due to the fact that it’s tailored specifically to zinesters, but also because many zinesters don’t use Twitter or Facebook!  The groups (the biggest ones include Perzines, Over 30 and Still at it, and Let’s Trade Zines), active forum, and event directory are all very useful tools that you can’t get anywhere else.  The location-based groups are great for bringing zinesters together - as well as the 200-strong UK & Ireland Zinesters, many subsections of the country have their own groups, including Kent, Wales, Midlands, East Anglia, and Brighton.  Members can create your own profile page where people can message you and leave you comments.  Zinesters can upload photos of their zines and projects to their profiles, join and contribute to groups, create events, upload videos, and IM each other.  Lots of fun!

A LiveJournal community dedicated to the UK zine scene, where members can advertise their zine, discuss zine issues, ask for advice, network, and trade with each other.  It could be a great resource but, again, is underused.  If you’re on LJ, add Zinescene_UK to your friends list and post your news there! 


PS - While we’re here, we’ve got an important announcement to make: Sheffield Zine Fair is now being held on the 25th September (Sunday) instead of the 24th as originally advertised.  Change the date in your diaries – we hope to see you there!

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